Serena Frome is an unlikely spy. Daughter of a bishop, unexceptional Cambridge grad, indifferent mathematician, insatiable reader, she is recruited by a lover for MI5, the British secret service. Anticipatinga life of intrigue, she struggles with the tedium of pushing paper and propping up the work of her superiors. At last she is chosen for a mission, and her life is transformed when she successfully snares an up-and-coming young writer in an MI5 plot. Sweet Tooth is a tremendously exciting read as the mysteries accumulate and the stories within stories begin multiplying and colliding. Ian McEwan paints a compelling portrait of a somewhat amoral young woman whose curiosity is stirred by the ambiguous situations she gets herself into and who wins our sympathy as she struggles to survive in a largely dishonorable world. The ending is a kicker: You’ll find yourself thinking about it for days after you finish the book.
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